Vaginal Infections during Pregnancy Increase Breast Milk Microbiome Alpha Diversity and Alter Taxonomic Composition

Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2023 Mar 31;28(1):1-9. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2023.28.1.1.


We previously reported that breast milk from women with (W) or without (WO) vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy differs in its immunological and antimicrobial properties, especially against pathogenic vaginal Candida sp.. Here, we investigated the differences in microbiota profiles of breast milk from these groups. Seventy-two breast milk samples were collected from lactating mothers (W, n=37; WO, n=35). The DNA of bacteria was extracted from each breast milk sample for microbiota profiling by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Breast milk from the W-group exhibited higher alpha diversity than that from the WO-group across different taxonomic levels of class (P=0.015), order (P=0.011), family (P=0.020), and genus (P=0.030). Compositional differences between groups as determined via beta diversity showed marginal differences at taxonomic levels of phylum (P=0.087), family (P=0.064), and genus (P=0.067). The W-group showed higher abundances of families Moraxellaceae (P=0.010) and Xanthomonadaceae (P=0.008), and their genera Acinetobacter (P=0.015), Enhydrobacter (P=0.015), and Stenotrophomonas (P=0.007). Meanwhile, the WO-group showed higher abundances of genus Staphylococcus (P=0.046) and species Streptococcus infantis (P=0.025). This study shows that, although breast milk composition is affected by vaginal infection during pregnancy, this may not pose a threat to infant growth and development.

PMID:37066035 | PMC:PMC10103605 | DOI:10.3746/pnf.2023.28.1.1


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